It seems like no good Mariners news nowadays comes without some sort of caveat, and today’s roster moves are no exception. The Mariners, at long last, activated Franklin Gutierrez from the 60-day disabled list. It’s great to have Guti back, but in order to make room for him on the 25-man roster, the Mariners sent Michael Morse to the 15-day DL. They also had to clear a 40-man spot for him, and so they designated Eric Thames for assignment.
I’ll start with Guti. It’s great to have “Death to Flying Things” back in the outfield. He’s batting sixth and playing his familiar centerfield tonight. However, the spector that he could hurt himself at any time doing any number of minor things still hangs over his return. It’s hard to get excited knowing that there’s a good chance he’ll just jump right back on the DL within a couple of weeks. Hopefully he’s healthy and ready to contribute, because the Mariners are desperate to salvage something from a horrific outfield that has been ravaged by slumps and injuries.
That brings me to Morse. This will be the third time he’s been out injured this year and his first DL stint. He started so well for the Mariners, but just hasn’t been the same since he broke his pinky a week into April. Now he’s dealing with the groin injury, which essentially prevents him from running. The Mariners have scrambled and played him through it at DH and 1B. But he hasn’t improved, so they were forced to toss him on the DL retroactive to his last appearance (yesterday). The Mariners will need to find someone to carry the loss of the power in the lineup with Morse out. Perhaps Mike Zunino can belt a few more home runs.
The loss of Eric Thames isn’t really a huge deal at this point. He’s clearly a AAA level player that just can’t cut it in the big leagues. The Mariners crowded outfield situation couldn’t fit him anyway. It does make me wonder why the Mariners couldn’t have just DFA’d Thames in January instead of Mike Carp, who’s tearing the cover off the ball in Boston. Wasteful Mariners.
This season is gradually become about the future, and it’ll be interesting to see if Guti can make himself a part of it in this stint with the big club.